Diverse sapovirus genotypes identified in children hospitalised with gastroenteritis in selected regions of South Africa

03 May 2016

BACKGROUND : Sapoviruses (SaVs) are recognised as causative agents of gastroenteritis worldwide. How-ever, data on the genetic diversity of this virus in Africa are lacking, particularly in the form of currentlong-term studies. OBJECTIVE : To determine the genetic diversity of SaVs in children hospitalised with gastroenteritis in SouthAfrica (SA). STUDY DESIGN : From April 2009 to December 2013, SaVs were characterised from stool specimens fromchildren hospitalised with gastroenteritis in four provinces of SA.RESULTS : Fourteen different SaV genotypes were identified from the 221 strains that were characterised.Genogroup (G) IV predominated overall and was detected in 24% (53/221) of specimens. The other iden-tified genotypes included six belonging to GI (GI.1–GI.3, GI.5, GI.6, and GI.7) and seven belonging to GII(GII.1–GII.7). CONCLUSION : This study has provided the first comprehensive data on the genetic diversity of SaVs in aclinical setting in SA, contributing to the global knowledge of this virus.